Aging Inmates: A Convergence of Trends in the American Criminal Justice System

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ed Rosenberg Ph.D., Professor & Director of Graduate Studies (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: During the past 30 years, American prisons have experienced rapidly expanding numbers of inmates, including more who are elderly. Elderly inmates present unique management challenges to the extent they experience age-specific adjustments and adaptations to prison life. Accommodating this “special needs” population, which places a disproportionate strain on available correctional resources, raises both prison environment and policy-level questions. Although some advocate early and/or medical release for older inmates who are seen as no longer posing a threat to society, state and federal correctional data indicate that early release is not a dominant trend. This article reviews the causes of the growth in the older male inmate population and then applies tools from gerontology to provide a perspective for evaluating current or prospective correctional system responses and programs, and to raise issues and suggest policies that might benefit older inmates as well as correctional systems.

Additional Information

Rikard, R. V., & Rosenberg, E. (2007). Aging Inmates: A Convergence of Trends in the American Criminal Justice System. Journal of Correctional Health Care 13(3):150-162. (July 2007) Published by SAGE (ISSN: 1078-3458). DOI: 10.1177/1078345807303001 The online version of this article can be found at:
Language: English
Date: 2007

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